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Any of the East Asian evergreen shrubs and trees that make up the genus Camellia in the tea family (Theaceae), most notable for three ornamental flowering species and for C. sinensis (sometimes called Thea sinensis), the source of tea. The common camellia (C. japonica) is the best-known, particularly for its double (many-petaled) cultivated varieties. The tea plant (C. sinensis), reaching 30 ft (9 m) in the wild but in cultivation kept to a low, mounded shrub, bears fragrant white, yellow-centred flowers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on camellia, visit Britannica.com.